Improving incomes and employment opportunities in rural Malawi

Project description

Title: (KULIMA) More Income and Employment in Rural Areas of Malawi (MIERA)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), European Union (EU)
Country: Malawi
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Industry
Overall term: 2015 to 2022


Woman in soya field


Malawi depends highly on agriculture. Small landholdings dominate, mainly living off subsistence farming due to poor access to inputs, services and markets. Low market integration hampers value addition, resulting in low incomes and limited employment opportunities.

The Government of Malawi realises the country’s need to broaden its export base, increase productivity and promote value addition to increase the national income.

The More Income and Employment in Rural Areas of Malawi (MIERA) programme applies an integrated value chain approach to increase incomes and employment among smallholder farmers and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME). It has a special focus on women and youth. MIERA is co-financed by the European Union’s agricultural flagship programme “KULIMA – Promoting farming in Malawi” until October 2021.

Man bagging at sunseed oil


Smallholders and MSMEs are increasing their income and adding value to their produce by building their business skills and networks, accessing improved resources and engaging in structured markets.


With its value chain approach, MIERA supports smallholders and MSMEs in growing and processing local products, such as cassava, groundnuts and soya beans. The project is also active in the fields of tourism, trade, eco-friendly building materials and construction.

MIERA has three main intervention areas:


  1. It promotes inclusive business models and dialogue between all the groups involved. It also encourages mutually beneficial relations between farmers and companies.
  2. Working with strategic service providers to improve their service provision, promoting smallholder adoption of marketing services and developing and promoting new types of services
  3. Improving the business skills of farmers, farmer organisations (FOs) and MSMEs: Together with local training institutions and its private sector partners, MIERA also develops and delivers training and coaching packages for smallholder farmers, FOs and MSMEs.

Last update: August 2021